HMG Heartbeat




We all know that one person who can do incredibly complex math calculations in their head. Without pencil, paper, calculator, or slide rule, they comprehend what the numbers means and how they co-exist. It’s natural for them.

They’re odd. No, really!

The 2013 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies study of adult literacy has the details. Only 12 percent of adults world-wide are numerically literate.


If your mission is to communicate about numbers, you must realize 88 percent of your audience finds them, well, awful. So telling your math-rich story means more than charts and graphs which are equally as mind-boggling to the masses. Success includes context – interpreting what the numbers say in pithy narrative.

Let us help you tell your story with all the numbers. We can help you communicate with the numerically illiterate masses!


Being a designer of 13 years, I have seen my share of bad designs. I often hear stories like “my cousin designed my website… it’s ugly, but, hey, as long as it’s free, right?” or “I created my logo using a clipart cd from 2003.” Too many times I have seen horridly designed brands, and wince at the thought of how much more money they could be making if they had only invested in an experienced company with talented designers.

Harming Your Credibility

High quality graphic design used in your company’s identity shows who you are as a business. The opposite is also true – bad design doesn’t leave you neutral, it can harm your credibility.

Think of a well-designed brand as a catch and release cycle. It can intrigue potential clients, make them customers, and keep them coming back for more. A poorly designed brand can actually deter possible customers before they even understand your product or service. Having a wonderful product or service won’t matter. If your brand design is not great, neither are you.

Sorry, Not Sorry – But Cheap Design Looks Cheap

Cheap designers are a dime a dozen these days and first impressions are important. Anyone with a computer with a one-star rated design program can call themselves a designer. It takes more than that to be a great designer. If you want a design that looks like you paid nothing for it, perhaps your uncle’s neighbor’s brother’s friend could throw something together for you in Microsoft Word. But if you want your brand to look professional and trustworthy, you must invest in a credible designer.

-Jen Hoaglund



A couple of us are major baseball fans here at Heartland Marketing. In fact, Ann and I will figure out a way to see several major league games each season. You won’t be surprised to learn Opening Day on Sunday was like a national holiday for us. What’s not to like about season openers? What’s not to like about a fresh start?

Many people set their yearly goals, resolutions, or whatever you want to call them in January but don’t overlook spring as a great time for a fresh start. Cleaning out the closet for spring clothes – that’s a great fresh start at my house. So tired of these black pants and blazers!

Being based in northwest Iowa, spring season means warmer weather and a fresh start for me. I love warmer weather, brighter colors, better roads to drive on – do I need to go on?

But the best part of warm weather and a fresh start is my outlook on business. I love to travel to clients, reach out at industry meetings, and check out everyone’s plans for spring through summer. I enjoy planning with our clients to make sure they are using resources the best way possible and telling their stories.

Opening Day of baseball season – a fresh start to the season – that’s how I look at it. What’s your view on the fresh start of spring?